The LAUSD Board of Educationvoted unanimously yesterday to rename the Central Los Angeles Learning Center #1 for Robert F. Kennedy. (No word yet on the precise name--will it be the Robert F. Kennedy Learning Center? Robert F. Kennedy Complex? Campus? School?)
The campus, as we all well know, is built on the old Ambassador Hotel, site of Kennedy's assassination in 1968. The elementary school on the site is already operating, while the middle and high schools are set to open this fall. While pretty much just one wall and the canopy of the hotel's Cocoanut Grove nightclub are all that're left of the Ambassador, elements of the ballroom -- where Kennedy gave his victory speech -- have been recreated in the high school's library, to which some of his papers have been donated. Additionally, a pocket park on Wilshire is also named for him.
Kennedy's son Max has always been a fan of the campus; he called for the Ambassador's total demolition in 2004. The LA Times quotes his response to yesterday's decision: "This new school will have at its core the values which my father stood for, and our peculiarly American concern for the well-being of all citizens."